Green bus roll-out boosted by £25m

Four local authority areas have received new cash from the government to roll-out Zero Emission Buses (ZEBs).

Norfolk County Council will receive £11.5m to deliver 55 ZEBs, Portsmouth City Council and Hampshire will get £6.2m for 28 ZEBs, West Yorkshire Combined Authority will have £5.7m for 25 vehicles alongside City of York Council being able to deliver 9 green buses through £1.9m in funding.

The latest investment announced will see the new buses manufactured in Northern Ireland by Wrightbus and operated by FirstBus, supporting new jobs and skills.

The £25.3m assists in the rollout of ZEBs at a national level and brings total government funding to almost £300m for up to 1,395 zero emission buses in England.

The funding is an additional investment from the Zero Emission Buses Regional Areas scheme (ZEBRA), which was launched in 2021. All these additional buses funded through the ZEBRA scheme are battery electric. The move also forms part of the government’s wider £3bn National Bus Strategy to offer improved bus services, lower and simpler fares, more integrated ticketing and higher frequencies.

Roads Minister Richard Holden said: “Buses are the most popular form of public transport, and these new British-built zero emission buses will support hundreds of high-quality manufacturing jobs in Northern Ireland, grow our economy and help clean up the air in towns and cities across the country.”

Janette Bell, Managing Director at First Bus said: “As leaders in sustainable mobility, we are fully aligned with the government’s ambitions for a net-zero carbon transport system. We are rapidly transforming our business with zero emission bus fleets and will continue to work closely with central and local government across the UK to deliver our decarbonisation plans.”

Image courtesy of Wrightbus

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